Gun Control in America



The devastating shooting in Las Vegas, being called the “Vegas Massacre” that occurred on October 1st has sparked the already intense debate of gun control.  64-year old Stephen Paddock was on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort when he opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers below.  He killed 59 people and wounded hundreds.  People are horrified and infuriated by this shooting because it is the largest in modern U.S. history.  Many want to take action and form strict laws to increase gun control, while others believe everyone should have the ability to buy guns.  So, will recent mass shootings and destruction that guns cause lead to the repeal of the Second Amendment, or will this debate continue, while shootings, suicides and homicides continue in the meantime?

Compared to the rest of the world, Americans own 48% of the estimated 650 million civilian-owned guns.  From the years 1966-2012, the U.S. has had the most mass shootings in the world with a total of 90.  The runner up is the Philippines with a much lower number of 18 mass shootings.  Lastly, gun homicide rates in the U.S. are 25.2% higher than any other high income country.  Evidently, America’s gun statistics are significantly different and alarming compared to other countries.

After the Vegas shooting, many people who attended the concert changed their opinion of gun control.  Several individuals agreed that there must be stricter laws on gun control to prevent these horrific mass murders of occurring in the future.  For instance, lead guitarist of the Josh Abbott Band, Caleb Keeter has changed his views of gun control since experiencing the Vegas Massacre.  I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was,” Keeter says, “We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.”  

Not only do the concert goers want change, but people all over America are fighting for gun control.  What is the president’s response?  So far Trump has made no comments regarding a policy change of guns.  He avoided the topic several times when he visited Las Vegas after the shooting.  

Mr. Ruland, Pentucket teacher, says, “It seems nonsensical to me that someone would take a literal sentence that was in the constitution from 250 years ago and apply it to today’s mass shootings in the same way.  It strikes me as being intellectually dishonest and I think the people that are using such an argument know it’s intellectually dishonest and they don’t care.”  

Overall, because of the recent mass shootings and high rates of US gun violence, many believe that there needs to be more gun control immediately.  The danger and devastation that guns cause make it hard to understand why people can walk into a store and purchase a gun.  Evidently, It’s time we stop using the 2nd amendment, formed in 1791, to guide how we control guns in today’s society.